Name: Chris Lindstrom
School: Boston College
Lindstrom’s name is not as sexy as other top-tier linemen in this year’s draft. That said, he presents a versatile, plug-and-play interior presence who should be able to fit into virtually any NFL offense.
Size and Strength
Lindstrom has it all in terms of power. He is not overly long, but has plenty of reach for a guard and functional mass top to bottom. You will be hard-pressed to find a single rep where he gets overpowered in either the run or pass game. He sticks to blockers thanks to strong initial power and vise-grip hands, and when he wants to finish, he can against anyone. Lindstrom stays low to the ground and fires quick feet, so he can always recover even in the rare instance he loses his advantage.
Lindstrom looks like a defensive tackle at times with the way he fires off the ball. His first steps are low, but flat-backed, so he gets immediate leverage advantage. Lindstrom locks his hands inside to maintain control and keeps his feet moving to finish his blocks. His technique is excellent in one-on-one situations. Look here as he takes care of Christian Wilkins, one of the best defensive tackles in this year’s class, then effortlessly moves to seal off another player while his teammate finishes off Wilkins.
In space, Lindstrom has the feet to get where he needs to go efficiently and ferociously. He pulls with his pad level down and eyes and hands up, ready to eliminate any threat he encounters. At the second level, he gets high on occasion, but almost always recovers and overpowers linebackers and safeties. He needs a bit more experience as a zone blocker, but his quick trigger off the snap and excellent feet would indicate he can thrive in a zone-heavy scheme. His ability to move in space is top-notch for his position, so he appears to transcend one particularly system.
Boston College was a running- and quick passing-heavy offense. As such, there are not a ton of reps with Lindstrom pass setting and engaging rushers in a traditional sense. His pass set is strong with a good base and handwork. However, much of his straight drop work involved more helping and stunt pick-ups than individual matchups. Based on his limited film and his overall blocking tendencies, he appears to have both the feet and the strength to counter any manner of interior rush. Plus, in a league ever embracing of play action and non-traditional passing plays, Lindstrom’s experience at Boston College would fit right in.
His hand placement is key to his success, as he can manipulate pass rushes even when they gain a step on him. Lindstrom is quicker both with hands and feet than most interior linemen, so he can often catch opponents off guard with quick jabs and resets. He has ever-moving eyes that allow him to fend off stunts and blitzes, as well as help out teammates. As with his run blocking, Lindstrom’s abilities here are universally and should translate to all manner of system.
The fit is obvious. Minnesota is hurting for interior lineman, and Lindstrom presents one of the best early day two options to fill the void. He is a true plug-and-play guy who should be able to start day one. With Lindstrom likely available in the early-to-mid second round, it would mean the Vikings do not necessarily have to reach to grab an early starting lineman with their first round pick. Lindstrom’s Boston College system is not much like what the Vikings run. There was not much zone or screen work going on, nor were there many deep drop passing downs.
That said, Lindstrom’s feet, strength and brains indicate he can learn and succeed in a more zone-centric run game, while also taking on a heavier load as a one-on-one pass blocker.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.
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